ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Nirmal MukarjiSubscribe to Nirmal Mukarji

Pay Commission and All That

Pay Commission and All That Nirmal Mukarji Many of the Fifth Central Pay Commission's ideas on 'civil service reform' are promising and should not he allowed to perish simply because the commission 's reasoning is not always sound or because the lobby for pay upgradation is more vocal.

Strengthening Indian Democracy

Strengthening Indian Democracy Nirmal Mukarji The root cause of the sickness afflicting Indian democracy is the distance between power and the people. Power is lodged at the centre and in the states whereas the people are at the local level. People's power is thus not available to keep the wielders of political power under check. Electoral reform and judicial activism can at best deal with the symptoms. The disease needs the more basic remedy of bringing power down to the people through minimal central and state governance and correspondingly maximal local governance.

Resolving Centre-State Conflicts

Resolving Centre-State Conflicts In the sphere of centre-state relations what we have now is an altogether new hall game. If there are lessons from the past they come from the way the 'exceptions' sector has been handled or rather mishandled one, that civilised governance must rely more on democratic dialogue than on authoritarian militarism; and, second, that conflict in plural polities must he resolved without flinching from exceptional settlements that respect the aspirations of deeply troubled groups.

Road to Peace between Pakistan and India

The convention organised by the India-Pakistan People's Forum for Peace and Democracy in New Delhi last month, in which around 200 delegates in roughly equal numbers from the two countries participated, was the largest such gathering till now. Its wholly non-governmental character and its squarely political agenda clearly distinguished it from all previous exercises.

Restructuring the Bureaucracy-All-India Services

Restructuring the Bureaucracy All-India Services Nirmal Mukarji Bureaucratic arrangements must fall in line with the multi-layered character of the polity. The central, state and local government bureaucracies must, therefore, be placed squarely under the control of the elected rulers at each level A suitable way needs to be found to close the IAS shop.

Self-Government and Its Instrumentalities

Self-government of any kind must have not only a clearly demarcated field of activities, but also the instruments with which to govern in this field. Consequently, an essential power the states must endow the panchayats with is that to recruit and control their own staff. At the same time, unless traditional notions like permanent employment, security, service cadres and reserved posts are reconsidered, panchayats will be unable to innovate instrumentalities suited to their purpose.

Reflections on the Status of Planning

Reflections on the Status of Planning Nirmal Mukarji Decentralised Planning: The Karnataka Experiment by Abdul Aziz; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1993; pp 259, Rs 250.

The Third Stratum

The Third Stratum Nirmal Mukarji The fundamental question before panchayats everywhere in the country has for long been whether they are there for development functions only or for the wider purpose of self-government. The central objective of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act must, therefore, be seen as self-government, unabridged by the quite unnecessary references to economic development and social justice and the wholly avoidable Eleventh Schedule.

For a More Federal India

For a More Federal India Nirmal Mukarji Decentralisation is the foremost agenda for India's political economy Two sub-agendas require simultaneous attention: a new economic policy which does away with centralising bureaucratic controls, but not with caring for the poor, whether poor people or poor regions; and a new political policy which devolves to lower democratic formations all powers and functions other than those the centre alone can and should have, thereby allowing the people to have a greater say in their own affairs.

Changeful Society and Changeless Governance

Changeful Society and Changeless Governance Nirmal Mukarji With non-Congressism on the rise in the states and the possibility of a non-Congress alternative even at the centre in the air, the civil service will have to learn to be more independent in the political sense. The need for such independence will be all the more if democratic self-governance is extended to the sub-state levels.

Decentralisation Below the State Level-Need for a New System of Governance

Need for a New System of Governance Nirmal Mukarji Decentralisation below the state level involves making a choice between bureaucracy and democracy, in the sense that it can mean either the delegation of administrative powers to district officers or the devolution of political authority to district governments. Further, decentralisation below the state level cannot be viewed in isolation from the larger issue of reordering relations between the centre and the states. Democratic decentralisation as an idea has gained wide acceptance. Whatfxas not been adequately recognised, however, is that the effective implementation of the idea requires major changes in the system of governance. This paper attempts to focus attention on some of the changes needed.

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